The TurkStream pipeline is a 930km offshore natural gas pipeline being laid across the Black Sea to connect Russian gas reserves to Turkey and south-east Europe. It will start near the Russian coastal town of Anapa and make landfall at the Thrace region in Turkey.

Being developed by Gazprom and its subsidiary South Stream Transport, the pipeline is designed to carry 31.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year and consists of two lines. The first line will feed gas to Turkish customers, while the second will supply gas to consumers in the south and south-east regions of Europe.

The pipeline is expected to be fully-commissioned by the end of 2019.

TurkStream pipeline development history

Gazprom signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Botaş Petroleum Pipeline Corporation, a Turkish company, in December 2014 for the construction of the gas pipeline. A notice request was submitted by Gazprom in January 2015 for the commencement of front-end engineering and design (FEED) of the offshore segment of the pipeline.

Turkish authorities granted permission to conduct engineering surveys for the subsea section of the pipeline in July 2015. A MoU was signed by Greece and Russia in relation to the construction and operation of the TurkStream in Greek territory during the same period.

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the construction of seabed trenches was approved by the Turkish government in September 2017.

TurkStream pipeline route

The TurkStream pipeline will begin near the Russkaya compressor station located in the coastal Russian town of Anapa. The offshore section of the pipeline will span 230km in the Black Sea offshore Russia, while the remaining 700km will pass through Turkish exclusive economic zone of the Black Sea.

The pipeline will make landfall at Thrace, Turkey, and continue onshore for 180km from the Turkish Black Sea coast to the Turkey-Greece border. It will connect to a receiving terminal near Kiyikoy village in Turkey, 100km west of Istanbul, before ending at Ipsala via Luleburgaz at the Turkish-Greece border.

TurkStream pipeline design

The natural gas pipeline will be laid in water depths of 2,000m and will be made of high-grade carbon manganese steel. It will have a three-layer external corrosion-resistant coating of polypropylene and an internal epoxy coating against friction.

"The TurkStream pipeline will begin near the Russkaya compressor station located in the coastal Russian town of Anapa."

The walls of the 32in-diameter pipeline will be capable of resisting an internal pressure of 300bars. The pipeline will be covered by an additional concrete coating of up to 8cm thickness.

Construction of the natural gas pipeline

An estimated 300,000 pipes, each 12m in length and having a diameter of 81cm, are connected via joints to form two parallel pipelines. Construction on the first leg of the pipeline started in May 2017 by Allseas Group’s pipe-laying vessel Audacia. The pipe joints are welded onto the on-board main string, after which the weld is tested and coated before being placed in the water.

Allseas Group’s Pioneering Spirit, one of the world's biggest construction vessels, will lay 4,300m of gas pipelines in the deep waters of the sea. The vessel commenced laying of the second line in June 2018.

The work for the construction of the receiving terminal near Kiyikoy in Turkey was initiated in January 2018. The nearshore work on the project started near the Turkish town of Kiyiköy in July 2018.

Contractors involved

Petrofac was awarded the contract for the construction of the receiving terminal in Turkey in September 2017. Tekfen was contracted by Petrofac as the subcontractor for the project.

South Stream Transport contracted Allseas Group for laying the first and second strings of the pipeline.

United Metallurgical Company was contracted for delivering the pipes for the TurkStream pipeline.